Vernazza – Cinque Terre

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Vernazza (Vernassa in ligure, Vernasa in the local variant, Vulnetia in Latino) is an Italian town of 975 inhabitants of the province of Liguria Speziain. It is one of the renowned Cinque Terre. The municipality has been rated as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.

Physical Geography

Starting from the west is the second of the countries that make up the Cinque Terre, nestled in a bay between the towns of Monterosso al Mare eRiomaggiore, and also includes the next village of Corniglia, fraction thereof. The area is also characterized by the typical terraces for the cultivation of the vine, style morphology made by man for centuries and that, according to an estimate, seems to have developed over 7000 miles of dry stone walls.

The territory is part of the National Park of the Cinque Terre.

It is bordered to the north by the municipalities of Pinion, Beverinoe Riccò del Golfo di Spezia, to the south is wet Dalmar Ligure, to the west with Pinion and Monterosso al Mare and east with Riccò del Golfo di Spezia and Riomaggiore. Is about 26 kilometers northwest of La Spezia and 109 kilometers east DiGenova.

The municipal entity is constituted by the five frazionidi Corniglia, Drignana, Wall, Prevo and San Bernardino for a total of 12,28 square kilometers.

Among the many hiking trails, that allow connection between the five villages of Cinque Terre, a sentiero boschivo, through the village of Box – Riccò in the municipality of La Spezia Gulf – and the seat of Cigoletta, marked with the number 7 dal CAI, allows the connection of the coast with the middle and lower Val di Vara.

Above the village of Vernazza, to share 325 meters above sea level, is the Shrine of Our Lady of Reggio.


The origins of the name
According to some thesis now, deltoponimo origin derives from the Latinverna, translated as “indigenous” the “local”[6].

The first documented reports of Vernazza, which first castrum Cinque Terre, go back to an act of 1080 where is cited castrum Vernatio as a basis maritime Obertenghi – who were lords of Vernazza in the eleventh and twelfth centuries – and that most likely used the natural harbor as a point of departure of ships to defend against attacks by Saracen pirates and the first trade. Were the same as the Marquis to build in 1056 a first location of sighting and, necessary, defense.

With the increase of trade and the development of the navy returned soon expansive orbit of the Republic of Genoa, who made Vernazza one of the main bases for the coastal “conquest” commercial, Territorial politics and especially the eastern Liguria. It followed the natural act of oath and allegiance to Genoa and its republic, agreement that was signed in 1209 between 88 breadwinners of the territory vernazzese. In the same century settled the new lords of the village: From the pass and, from 1211, i Fieschi.

Now politically tied to Genoa, in 1254 Nicolò Fieschi attempted to reconstitute the feud with lost possessions in the Gulf of La Spezia and in Val di Vara, but, after a short period of lordship over the land, had to give in 1276 all rights Genoa Area. In the fight against Pisa was made a port for the landing of the galleys, only case in the Cinque Terre, thanks also to the particular conformation of the protected marina. To date, the military buildings remain defense, built by the Genoese, traces of walls, a bastion and lookout towers on the sea.

Together with the territory was part of Riomaggiore, until the fall of the republic of Genoa, dell'omonima podesteria.

With the new French rule from the fall of Napoleon Bonaparte 2 December 1797nel Department of the Gulf of Venus, with capital La Spezia, within dellaRepubblica Ligure annexed to the First French Empire. From 28 aprile del 1798 with the new French law, Vernazza will return in the eighth canton, as capital, Jurisdiction of the Gulf of Venus. From 1803 was the main center of the third State of the Gulf of Venus in the Jurisdiction of the Gulf of Venus. From 13 June 1805 to the 1814 will be included in the Department of the Apennines. The nineteenth century is also the period that will mark a new upturn in economic activity related to the production and export of local wine, trade that gradually declined in the seventeenth century (event is also recorded in other villages Levantine) and stagnated in the eighteenth century.

In 1815 will be incorporated in the Kingdom of Sardinia, as well as establish the Congress of Viennadel 1814 for other municipalities in the Ligurian Republic, and later in the Kingdom of Italy from 1861. From 1859 to the 1927 the territory was included in the sixth district of Levantodel Environment Levante part of the Province of Genoa and first, with the establishment in 1923, of the Province of La Spezia then.

The construction of the railway network in Vernazza and the Cinque Terre, between the mid and late nineteenth, will shake the country from geographical and historical isolation; at the same time recorded, also, a substantial increase in population was not limited to overload the already exploited labor in the agricultural terraces and vineyards, affected by these diseases. He was then to create a migration, the early twentieth century, close to the centers and the capital break, especially for the excellent professional opportunities created by the construction of the military arsenal.

From 1973 to the 31 December 2008 he was a member of the Montana coast of La Spezia, it was terminated by the Regional Law n ° 24 of 4 July 2008 and in force since 1 January 2009.

The 25 October 2011 a violent disturbance hit the eastern Liguria (bassa e media choices di Vara, Magra Valley and Cinque Terre) and the Lunigiana (province of Massa and Carrara) with flooding, damage, dead and missing at various locations in Liguria and Tuscany. Among the most affected areas is also Vernazza where heavy rainfall caused several damages to homes and businesses in the city center and railway connections with the stations of Monterosso (north) and Corniglia (south); stessastazione the station was literally submerged by mud and debris.

Monuments and places of interest

Religious Architecture

  • Parish Church of St. Margaret of Antioch in the capital. Dedicated to the patron saint of the town is an important testimony of the school Antelami, started nel1318. It has three naves perfectly preserved inside, has an input side of the apse and the altar is oriented toward the east. The tower is set on the apse and is octagonal in shape, after a double crown of arches has a particolarerastremazione and ends with a pointed dome.
  • Church of St. Francis in the capital. Built in the seventeenth century to accommodate the Friars Minor, the church, deconsecrated, Today it is home to musical and theatrical, and exhibition spaces. The adjoining convent is instead based delmunicipio. On the right you can still see parts of the aims of the convent walls.
  • Parish Church of St. Peter the Apostle in the village of Corniglia, nel1354 built in Gothic and Baroque style.
  • Disciplinanti Oratory of Santa Caterina da Siena, in the village of Corniglia, built in the eighteenth century.
  • Shrine of Our Lady of Reggio in the locality. To get to the sanctuary is to follow a paved path, along approximately 2 km, that part awayfrom the train and gets to the church square surrounded by ancient trees. The sanctuary is part, together at the shrine of Our Lady of Montenero aRiomaggiore, to the shrine of Our Lady of Health in Manarola, to the shrine of Our Lady of Grace in Corniglia and the Shrine of Our Lady of the Sea of ​​Soviore aMonterosso “Shrines of the Cinque Terre”.
  • Shrine of Our Lady of Grace, in the village of San Bernardino, rehabilitation from a nineteenth-century chapel of late medieval origin. In the shrine is venerated a Madonna and Child.

Military architecture

  • Doria Castle, whose earliest records date back to the thirteenth century, but it is believed that the first nucleus dates back to the eleventh century; The cylindrical tower, restored in the twentieth century, represents the oldest part of the fortification.
  • Belforte Bastion. The bastion, of quadrangular shape, is located just below the castle of Doria, near the mouth of the harbor; the building could be built to the Genoese domination in the Middle Ages.
  • Guard tower and lookout, perhaps contemporary with the local castle, near the initial path to Corniglia.



Every year in Vernazza is the traditional patronal feast of Saint Margaret of Antioch celebrated on 20 July. During the day banquet in the main street and the evening fireworks.

Another tradition is the pirate festival, does not have an exact date and place from 22.00 on. The festival begins with the entrance in the harbor of Vernazza from hackers with a lot of simulations of landing, these appear accompanied by “Batebalengo” (percussion group) climb the country festival.[Citation]


The main economic resources of the area are directed towards the vernazzolese attivitàagricola and Tourism activities. In the agricultural sector is growing fine degliuliveti, of fruit trees (especially lemons) and of course the screw with a good production of local wines and the territory of the Cinque Terre.

Infrastructure and transport


Vernazza is located along the winding coastal road of the Cinque Terre. The municipality is not directly accessible by highway, therefore the tollgate of La Spezia-Santo Stefano di Magra on the A15 and A12 is the best exit to reach the destination.


Vernazza has its own railway station on the Tyrrhenian Genoa-Rome, the stretch between Genoa and La Spezia. For long-distance trains, the reference station is the nearest of La Spezia Centrale.